The big shift

The big shift

Come to think of its life is a strange long circle The more it moves forward the more you keep coming back to similar situations The last time someone...

Come to think of its life is a strange long circle. The more it moves forward the more you keep coming back to similar situations. The last time someone gave Anupam Kher, a pivotal central role in a movie called ‘Saaransh’ way back in 1984.

The movie won accolades for its great content and did garner some amount of controversy too because of its in-your-face content and hard question asking characters. Anupam Kher became a national rage post that one. Despite all controversy and content praise, ‘Saaransh’ did not exactly set the box office on fire because then you did not have so much of content accommodating audience as today.

Unfortunately, after that, we lost Anupam Kher to commercial mainstream cinema. Not that he did not do great work after ‘Saaransh’. He gave us the memorable Dr Dang of ‘Karma’. He was actually charming and lovable as the crackpot father of Pooja Bhatt in ‘Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin’. It is therefore strange that after ‘Saaransh’ no one in Bollywood ever gave Anupam a central powerful role.

Now after almost 35 years of ‘Saaransh’, Anupam Kher has got another pivotal role. A film which will run or sink on his shoulders. In fact, by the time you will be reading these lines the judgment will be out. The setting remains the same. There are cynics now too like there were in 1984 about a 28-year-old playing a 60-year-old man. There are cynics today too who feel the kind of plot and genre ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ is attempting won’t work with the audiences.

We as an audience should not be bothered though. Either way, ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ could be a worth visit movie. It could turn out to be a boring drag given the hype around it. It could turn out to be an in your face political drama thriller that we have not seen on the screen for years. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a movie where certain principle politicians were named so blatantly?

We have seen Bollywood shying away from even showing clear faces of PMs or any other known politicians where they are just supposed to be a very non-controversial part of a screen plot. In that sense, ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ is a big shift. It will encourage makers to make movies on real political stories. Something which has been a strict no for Bollywood.

Unlike Hollywood, which has attempted cinema regularly on popular scandals and corruptions in political space. Bollywood more or less fictionalises or trivialises its cinema based on political dirt.

‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ in that sense might change some attitudes in Bollywood. This could be very good news for us the audiences. We might get to know stories and nuances of our ruling classes which till now have been hidden from us. The success of this movie could open the floodgates to a new genre of cinema altogether. We all know that the games of politics offer more thrill and intrigue than some of the best action thrillers that we can watch.

Therefore, as an audience, I hope ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ works at the box office. It will open those iron doors which are forced shut by the political correctness of Bollywood. In all of this, we could also see as it often happens that a largely uncelebrated maker walks away with glory. The chances of ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ winning at the box office also look bright because after the trailer the audiences seem to have taken a liking to it on social media. The controversy creating media has of course helped and then the technical issues at YouTube made the trailer disappear from searches briefly giving more fuel to those who like to burn a fire.

Anupam Kher again stands in a similar situation as ‘Saaransh’, a movie placed on his shoulders when not many are willing to give it a chance. The only point we forget is that this time the audiences have changed as we saw in 2018. Content is the new ‘Superstar’. One fact does not change though should this movie win the war of box office than 2019 will start on one of the biggest surprising notes in recent years.


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